COVID-19

Vaccination scam in Mumbai’s plush housing society?

Accross the country, several vaccination drives are being conducted by housing societies to facilitate the ease of getting the jab for its residents. But for the residents of the Hiranandani Heritage Residents Welfare Association (HHRWA) in Mumbai, the convenience tiurned into a major souce of concern.

After the residents – nearly 400 of them were a part of the vaccination drive of the Kandivli housing society – started receiving certificates from centres which were not supposed to be involved in the inoculation programme, along with incorrect dates, that doubts surfaced. They also found that the Co-WIN portal did not have any record of the people who participated in the drive.
The society has sought investigation into the matter.”If the vaccine is found to be spurious, the people who got vaccinated will have a medical emergency to deal with. Therefore, there is an urgent need to investigate the whole episode so that such fraudulent activities are not repeated at other places,” the complaint said.

The HHRWA had orgainzed the camp through a person named Pandey, who claimed to be a sales representative of a reputed private hospital in Andheri. As many as 390 members received the jabs at the camp at Rs 1,260 per person, it said in the complaint. “We now feel that some unscrupulous elements have taken us for a ride,” the complaint read.

They were shocked to receive vaccination certificates in the name of Nanavati Hospital, Lifeline Hospital and NESCO Covid Camp, among others, it said. “On contacting Nanavati Hospital, they denied any involvement and said they’re victims in the situation too,” said Neha Alshi, a resident of the complex, on Twitter.

Nanavati Hospital said in a statement that it had not conducted any such vaccination camp. “We have informed the authorities and are lodging a formal complaint,” said its spokesperson on Tuesday. The HHRWA also said that none of the people who got vaccinated had the usual after-effects like fever or body ache. “There are doubts about whether we were actually given Covishield or was it just glucose or expired/waste vaccine,” said Alshi in her tweets.

According to the complaint, one Sanjay Gupta was the coordinator for the camp, but he did not give receipts for the payment for vaccines. He had asked the association to make payment to one Mahendra Singh. Local BJP MLA Yogesh Sagar said the residents approached him after suspecting a fraud. “Police should conduct a thorough probe as such frauds pose a threat to people’s lives,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), from this week, has made signing a Memorandum of Understanding between private vaccination providers and housing societies mandatory if such camps are organised. The MoU should have all relevant details, it said. As per the BMC, so far 41,11,880 people have been administered the vaccine in Mumbai including 8,24,428 who have got both doses.

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